“When I became a Fit4Mom instructor it sparked a passion within me I didn't even know I had. It made me realize I can be productive but also enjoy what I do.” – Elizabeth Wilkinson
Celebrating New Ownership: Meet Elizabeth Wilkinson
June brings a new summer season and a new season for FIT4MOM Ann Arbor. We have a BIG announcement–we have a new owner! Elizabeth Wilkinson is a mom of three with an awesome, supportive husband that encourages her to follow her dreams. She’s also a triathlete, a kid at heart, and has the energy to match. Oh, did I mention Excel? Spending 10 years as a tax accountant fueled her love affair with spreadsheets. She is high-energy, organized, detail-oriented, and down to earth. Elizabeth shares her worries as a first-time mom, what inspires her, and what she wants every new mom to know.
What inspired you to join FIT4MOM?
I was in a town in metro Detroit with no friends, hours away from family, and feeling like I was completely failing at motherhood with a 5-week old. I was at a consignment store down the street from my house and I saw a flyer for a stroller fitness class. I went home and looked it up and it said C-section moms could start at 8 weeks. I spent the next 3 weeks planning my first visit to this workout group. The day finally came and it was like the breath of fresh air I needed. I worked out with that group for 8 months until we decided it was time to look for a bigger house. My husband gave me the option to choose where to live and I googled "stroller fitness Metro Detroit." Fit4Mom Ann Arbor popped up so I told him Ann Arbor was my choice. He never asked why and we found a house we loved and a community we adored so it all worked out.
What are some of your favorite moments as a mom?
The first time my oldest (Jack) realized what "I love you" meant. One night I whispered it to him while rocking him to sleep and he shot up with this look of "A-HA!" and just started screaming "I love you!" and kissing me. Most rewarding moment ever. I also love having kids, like everything about it. I'm a kid at heart and I never wanted to grow up and be staunch. With kids, I finally have an excuse for going to the zoo, running through the sprinkler, playing hide-and-seek, and dancing in the rain.
What do you wish for new moms to know?
That you are enough. I think as new moms we are so focused on making everything perfect for these tiny new humans. We forget the fact that 1. it's completely new to us, 2. we just went through major body changes (and in some cases major surgery) and 3. we are EXHAUSTED! We see all over media that moms have these amazing instant connections with our babies, so when it isn't immediately like that, we start to feel like we aren't good at this. Or we aren't enough for this new life. But we totally are! And EVERY mom struggles at least sometimes. Some are just better at hiding it than others.
What advice can you give to new moms trying to incorporate fitness into their life?
Start slow and don't be so hard on yourself. Your body just changed a ton. Your organs were just squished up into your ribs, your blood volume almost doubled and you created a new life! It took 9 months to complete all that, don't be bummed out if you aren't back to where you used to be after 8 weeks or even 8 months. Your body has gone through a lot of changes. Don't compare yourself to who you used to be. Embrace your new abilities. I bet you never thought you could accomplish so much with so little sleep!
How would you recommend to someone to meet new mom friends?
Put yourself out there! When I first started "mom dating" I was so intimidated. One day I realized we're all in the same boat. We are all looking to make that connection. Who cares if they don't all work out, just give it a try! Say hi, introduce yourself. Don't judge. Be open minded. Don't be afraid to "friend" someone on Facebook at the park that you just met. Friendships have to start somewhere!
Besides being a FIT4MOM owner, what else is your dream job?
When I was in grade school I wanted to be a comedienne. My life goal was to be on SNL. Okay let's be real, it still is, I just have come to terms with the fact that I'm not that funny.